How to Disconnect From Work During Your Vacation
by Erica Saltarelli - Life and Performance Coach
Some people never really stop working; for some it does not matter if they are at Waikiki beach or at their desk, they simply don’t seem to ever switch off. Well, some people have huge responsibilities – thinking of Prime Ministers or mothers – others might be self-entrepreneurs where there often is no clear distinction between work and private life.
They know that slowing down will enable the body and the mind to actually recharge the battery to maximize their potential, but they can’t simply let go.
Working with high achievers I’ve noticed that it is very difficult for them to simply SLOW DOWN. They understand the benefits of doing so theoretically, but they struggle on the execution. The problem is that they don’t allow themselves to slow down, they don’t allow themselves to be someone else than the image they hold about themselves: the high paced, top achiever on top of their game.
And they struggle to leave the game because:
- they take the game too seriously and therefore they lack that healthy distance to dissociate for a while;
- it’s about their identity: they cannot think of themselves in other ways, they can’t think, talk, imagine, see themselves doing something different than working. They have conditioned themselves with a high level of stress that can be quite addictive and they need a level of cortisol in their system to feel motivated and ‘up’. Some people spend so much time working that they don’t really know what else to do with their free time.
- People feel safe when they have the illusion to be in control, to be in charge. So switching off from work is essentially giving up control and feeling extremely vulnerable.
The good news is that, you can slow down to speed up!
You can actually reinvent yourself endless times and enjoy every facet of each. And, the earth doesn’t stop spinning, if you stop working. But your heart and the whole system will function much better.
6 Ways to Disconnect:
- Everything starts with the right intention. Ask yourself what is your intention during your time off. Recharge, sleep, have fun, adventures, creating beautiful memories with friends and family; what is it that you really want to get out of your time off? Write it down and ask yourself this question as often as needed.
- Generally speaking, what we need in our system too not only function but also to live better is OXYGEN. Therefore, I strongly recommend the LSD formula: LAUGH, SING, DANCE. I would plan activities where these actions are involved with a serious effort to do them as much as possible. Don’t be casual about it, search for any activities that will require you to breathe more and better. Maybe approach it like a work task – you might end up loving it.
- Establish phone etiquette. Disconnect your email from your phone and disconnect from the screen: your eyes need natural light to function at their best, so plan a mobile free time.
- It might sound contradictory but there are plenty of apps you can use to relax and chill out with guided meditation or beautiful music to distress. You can do this on airplane mode and therefore use the phone as a useful devise instead of a working tool.
- Eat healthy and light. What enters your body should help you feel energetic and reinvigorating. Nurture your body with plenty of water, fruits and vegetables to give it a boost of energy.
- Love yourself. You can allow yourself to let go and explore new territories. You can allow yourself to overcome the perception people hold on you and surprise yourself of what you are capable of.
Practice this least for the time of your vacation. It’s a controlled, limited time and space to be free and to be whoever you fancy being.
It’s about embracing the beauty of being rather than doing.
Maybe you want to work on yourself, a specific area of your personal development, as a way to sharpen yourself in order to be more effective in the personal or professional realm.
But avoid the usual to-do activities. To do’s are boring and uninspiring. Ask yourself instead where am I going to put my glorious effort today?
Laugh. Sing. Dance. Repeat!
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